Here are 2 of the 8 BBC Storyville “Why Poverty?” projects – an initiative that saw a set of 8 ground-breaking international documentaries that screened in 180 countries, that explored why, in the 21st century, 1 billion people still live in poverty.
The films have now been released online in full, and I’ve embedded 2 of them below:
The first, titled “Stealing Africa,” was directed by Christoffer Guldbrandsen, and tells the story of Rüschlikon, a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents. But it receives more tax revenue than it can use. This is largely thanks to one resident – Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia are not generating a large bounty tax revenue for the Zambians. Zambia has the 3rd largest copper reserves in the world, but 60% of the population live on less than $1 a day and 80% are unemployed. Based on original research into public documents, the film describes the tax system employed by multinational companies in Africa.
A familiar tale – one that’s been at the center of several films we’ve profiled on this site. In some cases, words like “rebels” and “pirates” are used to describe those who rise up in defiance, and challenge this kind of exploitation of their land, minerals and fellow citizens.
The second, titled “Land Rush,” looks at food security and the rush for arable land as vast tracks of the developing world are bought up or leased by multi-national agribusiness.
Directed by Hugo Berkeley and Osvalde Lewat, the film follows a collection of investors and developers as they attempt to find a new, more inclusive model of development in Mali. But the question is, what impact will this have on the lives of the local farmers?
All 8 feature documentaries aired in 2012/2013, as more than 70 TV broadcasters throughout the world, covering more than 180 countries, joining in putting poverty firmly on the global agenda. The lot of films, produced in partnership with The Open University, reached around 500-800 million people worldwide. The films are
The initiative’s initial announcement came the day after the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, on October 17th.
First, watch “Stealing Africa” in full below; and underneath, watch “Land Rush:”